Circles

“Are we really having this conversation again.” 
“We’re just talking in circles.” 
“I feel like there’s something you want me to say but I’ve already said everything.” 

Life feels like it’s moving in the weirdest and most wonderful zigzagging pattern of growth and new beginnings. I don’t sleep more than 5 or 6 hours most nights. I’m constantly on the subway, running from the Heights to the Upper East to the Meatpacking to Queens and back. Half of the time I’m home for a stretch in the afternoon so I can food prep and make myself healthy meals, and the other half I’m scarfing down a Cliff bar and a seltzer after a long workout, hoping that sustains me for my three hours on the gym floor picking up 50lb dumbbells that the meatheads leave everywhere. Sometimes the thought of standing on my tired feet for 8-hour shifts at the store makes me want to cry. Sometimes the thought of working 7 days a week for the foreseeable future makes me want to cry harder.

But as stressful as everything is, the second I walk into the gym, and walk into the store, that all floats away. All of a sudden I remember how badly I wanted this, to be working my way from the bottom into something that I love. I start having fun, something I’m not used to at work. I’m excited to work and learn and the people I work with are concerned with following their own dreams and being happy, not stepping over each other to do better and make more. For literally the first time in my adult life I’m doing something that I love and I’m so happy when I’m doing it. Most of the time when I tell people about it they’re really excited for me. But their future isn’t directly connected to mine, and so they can be excited about the big picture without experiencing the little details.

The little details, like how I’m rarely home before 10 and usually am out the door by 4am. Details like how instead of feeling down because I’ve been staring at a computer screen all day I’m feeling sore because Barry’s Bootcamp with my coworkers just kicked my ass. And the little details like how talking about the future used to consist of “whens” instead of “ifs.”

Lately conversations are moving in circles. They start with normal topics, like “how was your day?” and “what’s the plan for tonight?” and they end with words like “I just need to get over it” instead of “I’m here for you.” When I think things are calming down I say something hoping for an adult conversation and it ends with me crying and refusing to speak, and then I feel awful because everyone feels awful. When you make a really big change, it affects everyone around you, and unfortunately how they react can permeate your opinions as well.

I don’t know. This whole post seems like circles. Something is upsetting me but there’s literally no way to make it better. It doesn’t feel any better to get it out on paper than it does to talk about it in circles again, but then again it does help to have it written out in front of me. Time should make it all better. It should. I hope it will.

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Circles

Sometimes the best adventures in New York are away from the city, a quick respite from the madness to enjoy the surrounding beauty that’s only a Zipcar away. In an effort to stay as far away from the hell known as Santacon as possible, my lovely friend M, her N and I made plans for Saturday to borrow N’s mom’s car for the day and take an adventure, starting the afternoon at the Ikea in Paramus and ending the day in Nyack for a meal at my cousin’s restaurant, 8 North Broadway. I thought that I’d be recapping the weekend by talking about how incredible the meal was (which it was), or how nice it was to spend some time with two of my people (which it was). And while I’ll absolutely remember those moments for a long time, there was another memory made that will probably trump them all: That time we spent nearly an hour lost around Ikea.

Now, when you park a car in any parking garage, and especially one as large as those around Ikeas, one would think between the three of us, someone would have taken a look at the garage markers to remember where we’d parked, thus avoiding any confusion later. But after we’d paid and walked out the door, we realized none of the surrounding scenery looked familiar. “Maybe we parked on a different floor?” said M, even though none of us remembered walking up or down any stairs. We made our way up to the top (no car), the middle (no car) and the ground floor (still no car), walked up and down the rows, walked around the edge of each lot – still no car. This continued for around ten minutes before M and I just looked at each other and started laughing. I mean come on. Here are three college-educated twenty-somethings and we’ve somehow managed to get ourselves stuck in an Ikea in New Jersey. It could have been a panic-inducing situation, imagining the car was stolen or that we’d be stuck in New Jersey forever, but I think we knew that everything was going to be just fine, so we just laughed and kept going.

I’m a person that loves to panic when situations start getting out of hand, letting my thoughts run in circles, overthinking, overanalyzing, overeverything. Especially with everything in the past year, and specifically in the past seven months, I’ve made myself dizzy with thoughts, trying to sort out the idealistic dreamer with the crushing blows of reality, circle up to optimism and loop down to disappointment. Somewhere in the past month or two I finally fell down, exhausted from spinning for so long, and started trying my best to walk in a straight line, saying I needed my life to stay exactly as it was, no distractions, no fireworks, for a long time. It worked for a little while, but life has a tendency to get in the way when you’re that determined, and recently a tiny spark caught my attention and slowly started turning my head. I suppose you can’t avoid spinning like that forever – now it’s just a waiting game to see if I can figure out this dizzy dance, or if I’ll fall down again, alone and confused and dizzier than ever.

After nearly 20 minutes of determined wandering around the Ikea garage, M, N and I finally decided to head to the Ikea entrance and retrace our steps, still in fits of giggles at such a situation. We made it back to the big blue building, and before we could even walk inside to begin retracing, we all looked up at the same time, stopped in our tracks, and started laughing hysterically: turns out, there were two sides to the parking lot, and we’d just spent the whole time looking for the car in the wrong one. Two minutes later we were bundled in the Saab with the heat on and the music blasting, on our way to Nyack for a well-deserved drink. Naturally, the GPS in M’s iPhone had a little hiccup, and I kid you not, we spent a further 20 minutes driving in circles in the unfamiliar routes around Ikea, laughing hard enough for tears to run down our faces, the bare trees surrounding the roads waving to us once we finally got back on track. Maybe in the end the circles aren’t the worst thing that can happen. At this point, I probably know better than anyone that if you get nothing else from being so dizzy all the time, you’ll get a good story at the end of the day.